Thu, August 09 2007

Should you social network?

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Social Media •

It seems like a new social network or social network application targeting do-gooders sprouts up every day - like change.org, zaadz or razoo, Causes on Facebook, etc.  So what is an overwhelmed do-gooder to do?  What should a nonprofit do?

My clever colleague Justin Perkins of Care2 has some great materials to help you weigh the relative merits and risks of investing in social networks.

First, he does a nice analysis of the “Long Tail” of Facebook causes here.

Second, he created a nifty ROI calculator to help you decide which investments are worth an effort.

Both are required reading! 

And listen to the bottom line:

The same old organizing rules still seem to apply, though there are some obvious advantages to playing in social networks if you are promoting a nonprofit cause.  Social networks are different from other mediums, in that they tap into some basic human needs in a new way—the need to be part of a group, the need to be creative, and the need to have a voice heard in a public forum. But it’s tough to get in the middle of that, as an organization.  It can take a lot of time.

In the meantime, on a self-promotional note, don’t forget that you can create a Six Degrees badge that works on many social networks—as a way to experiment to encourage supports across different platforms!  (Six Degrees is part of Network for Good, where I work).  You could win a $10,000 matching grant if you’re really good at it!

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